Sunday, April 29, 2007

She's on Duty (Korea 2005)

She's on Duty (Jambok-geunmu) is a 2005 South Korean film about a police detective who goes undercover in a high school to befriend the daughter of an elusive gangster.It stars Kim Seon-ah as Chun Jae-in (Jane Chun), Nam Sang-mi as Cha Seung-hee, Kong Yu as Kang No-young, Kim Kap-su as Cha Young-jae, and Kim Sang-ho as Detective Kang.

When we first meet Kim Seon-ah (Jane) she is deep undercover in the middle of a prostitute ring that is seconds from being exposed. She loses control of her situation and botches the sting. She gets a second chance to prove she has what it takes to still be an asset as a detective. This time her new assignment is to go undercover in high school and keep tabs on Seung-Hee (Nam Sang-Mi) the daughter of Cha Young-Jae (Kim Kap-Soo), an on the run dad that no one can find who has a testimony to shut down a local angry mob boss! So Jane's mission is to keep Seung-Hee safe while remaining on the lookout her dad.

Jane completely loathes the idea of going back to school, and more or less reverts back to her tom-boyish, anti-social, trash-talking ways. So while fending off bullies, cheating on exams (thanks to her commander) and pretty much doing everything to make herself stand out from the crowd, she meets Kang No-Yong (Gong Yoo) who gives her something else to keep an eye on due to his odd behavior.

Now for the most part this all plays out pretty well. But I know what your thinking "Hasn't this been done before?" Yes it has. This subject matter has been done tons of times before (Fight Back To School, and even Never Been Kissed for example). But Kim Seon-ah does a decent job at trying to hold the movie together despite a long running time and pacing which seem like the real bad guys of the film. The easy laughs begin to thin out through it's near two hour running time. The tacked on love interest story between Jane and Kang No-Yong, doesn't seem to help matters either. The real disappointment is that you'll want to really like this movie, but it just wont let you. Kim Seon-ah is very likable and tries her best, but even she can't take the brunt of this weak presentation. So if you're a fan of the leading lady, than its worth a watch, but unfortunately if your not, this movie won't make you one. (Converter)

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